Dr. Rajiv Kumar Gupta, Additional Chief Secretary of Forest & Environment Department has in a tweet on Friday apologised for posting a video of lions crossing a waterway in South Africa as that of Gir in Gujarat.
“It is regretted that a wrong video was posted along with a statement of Lion safety in Gir landscape. PCCF(Wild Life)Sh Shyamal Tikadar has apologised for his lapse & indiscretion. Inconvenience & confusion caused is sincerely regretted with an assurance for double caution in future,” Gupta tweeted.
It is regretted that a wrong video was posted along with statement of Lion safety in Gir landscape.PCCF(Wild Life)Sh Shyamal Tikadar has apologised for his lapse & indiscretion.Inconvenience &confusion caused is sincerely regretted with an assurance for double caution in future. pic.twitter.com/ibs6n31LCU
— Dr Rajiv Kumar Gupta (@drrajivguptaias) May 21, 2021
The tweet was accompanied by a picture of a letter signed by PCCF (Wildlife) Shyamal Tikadar in which the officer said that the video was sent to him by an eminent wildlife enthusiast and prima facie it appeared to be from Gir.
The letter further said that the wildlife enthusiast who sent the video was associated with the lion conservation program for a long and hence the video forwarded was taken at face value.
It further said the staff could not check the veracity of the video as they were involved in a massive tracking and rescue operation following the cyclone. It also added that most of the lions have been tracked following the cyclone and found to be safe.
What was the lion video?
Earlier Gupta while sharing the video and tagging the Gujarat Forest Department had said that forest staff had kept constant monitoring on lion movement in the region during the cyclone.
“A rare video of a Pride in Akolvadi range Gir West crossing a waterway safely, being shared,” he wrote while sharing the clip which later emerged to be of a game range in South Africa. The tweet was later deleted by Gupta.
The tweet of the video was also retweeted by the official handle of the Gujarat Forest Department and Union Minister for Environment and Forest, Prakash Javadekar.
“Happy to know that #LionsAreSafe in Gir landscape post #Tauktecyclone . Kudos to the @GujForestDept staff for constant monitoring,” the minister wrote while retweeting the clip.
Happy to know that #LionsAreSafe in Gir landscape post #Tauktecyclone . Kudos to the @GujForestDept staff for constant monitoring. @moefcc @PIB_India @PIBAhmedabad @DDNewsGujarati @DDNewslive https://t.co/eOm8mkRkSI
— Prakash Javadekar (@PrakashJavdekar) May 20, 2021
Many netizens had immediately taken to Twitter to say that the video is not of Gujarat but South Africa and the lions in question were African and not Asiatic.
(Image credit: Gujarat Forest Department)
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